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Adcocks await big quarter-final challenge after YONEX All England progression

Chris and Gabby Adcock will face a rematch of last year's YONEX All England quarter-final clash after they sealed their berth in the last eight with comprehensive victory.

The Adcocks, playing in front of a boisterous home crowd at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena, faced Chinese duo Xu Chen and Du Yue, the former of whom knocked them out of last year’s Olympic Games.

But any pre-match nerves were not visible as the Adcocks, ranked seventh in the world, stormed into action, taking the first game 21-17 with clinical play.

The second game followed in much the same fashion, with the English pair executing their tactics with perfection to wrap up a 21-12 triumph and seal their spot in the last eight.

And for Gabby, they couldn’t have wished for a better performance on court.

“We came out really strong, and had such a specific plan to put in place which we did really well,” she said.

"I think we were even sharper than yesterday which is good and we came out of the blocks really strong.

“I think the key point in the match was when they tried to change play, but we really implemented our tactics. We thought it could be tricky, but I think we performed really well.

“We were moving fast, and I think Chris was very attacking and good with his placement and angle, which set me up really well for the net.

“We stuck to our plan throughout, which sometimes we can waver from.”

In Friday’s quarter-final, the Adcocks will face Rio gold medallists Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, an Indonesian pairing who have lifted the YONEX All England title on three previous occasions.

But having beaten their Asian opponents at the quarter-final stage of last year’s tournament, Chris sees no reason why the same can’t happen again.

“It’s definitely going to be a tough game,” he said. “They’re a fantastic pair, I think they’ve won here three times over the last five years, so it’s going to be incredibly tough but we know we can beat them.

“We beat them at the same stage last year so it will be a rematch of that, and we’re looking for the same result.

“It doesn’t get any harder than the Olympic champions but we’re up for the challenge and really excited.

“We’ll go out there, give it our all, and hopefully the home crowd will give us an edge.”

There was disappointment however for men’s doubles pairing Tom Wolfenden and Peter Briggs, as they were eliminated from the competition despite a brave effort against the fifth seeds.

Facing Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, Wolfenden and Briggs more than gave their opponents a run for their money in the opening exchanges.

But it wasn’t to be for the English stars as the Indonesians eventually triumphed 21-13 21-14 to ensure progression to the next round.

Briggs said: “There is quite a lot to take from the match. Obviously, they were very good and played quite well.

“We let them get one or two points and then they capitalised on it, worked with their momentum and really put their foot down.

“I think it was a good performance from us, but it just wasn’t enough unfortunately."

The YONEX All England action continues on Friday, with the first shuttle being played at 4pm GMT. 

Photo: Badminton Photo

See all the stars of Rio in Birmingham March 7-12

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